‘Friends’ Desert Bill Cosby when he Needs them Most
By Raynard Jackson
“Hey, hey, hey (in my best Fat Albert’s voice), please listen to what I have to say. My friend Bill Cosby is in trouble today.”
Even Fat Albert knows Bill Cosby is getting a raw deal. As a public relations/crisis management professional. I have worked with some of the biggest names in sports, entertainment, and business. So, let’s deconstruct this media frenzy engulfing the man who was once America’s favorite TV dad.
Many of these allegations have been around for more than 30 years. Cosby has never been charged with a crime and deserves the presumption of innocence. Simply because several people – okay, eight and counting – provide a similar salacious account doesn’t make it true.
Until now, Cosby and his lovely wife, Camille, have not had to defend their hard-earned good name. They have given north of $50 million to educational institutions, especially HBCUs. Cosby has opened doors to many of the top actors and comediennes in the industry.
At the ripe old age of 77 years, at what point does one’s body of work require one to be given the benefit of the doubt? Cosby is, and in my book, will always be “America’s Dad.”
None of the females coming forward ever went to the police when the incident in question was supposed to have happened. There have been no corroborating witnesses. After the initial alleged incident, each of the women continued to spend private time with Cosby. If Cosby had done what they allege, why would they continue to spend private time with him? That makes no sense. Not even to Fat Albert.
And the media’s hands are not clean in the smear campaign.
Why would respected news organizations even give these women a platform when they offer no proof or evidence to support their allegations?
Corporate America has also taken the guilty until proven innocent approach toward Cosby, a former corporate darling.
NBC officials announced last week that that they were no longer working with Cosby to produce a new series that was supposed to launch next summer. Mind you that Cosby made NBC billions of dollars with his hit TV series “The Cosby Show” in the 80s and the successful spinoff, “A Different World.”
Evidently, Hollywood is a different world.
Even more surprising than the reaction from Hollywood and Corporate America is the paucity of people willing to defend Bill Cosby or at least insist on a greater burden of proof from his growing list of accusers. To be blunt, true friends don’t desert friends based on unsubstantiated rumors.
That means even when defending them is unpopular. I have publicly defended former Senate Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi when I knew accusations of him being a White racist were unfounded. I also backed former Majority House Leader Tom DeLay, who stepped down in 2005 after being indicted for allegedly improperly funneling campaign donations to Texas House candidates. He was eventually exonerated but by then, his political career had been unfairly destroyed.
Doesn’t Cosby deserve that same kind of loyalty?
I am not aware of one public statement of support from any former cast member of Cosby’s shows. I am not aware of any statement of support from any comedian on the scene today whose career took off because of Cosby. I am not aware of any statement of support from any civil rights group or college that have gladly taken millions over the years from Cosby and his wife.
Without delving into the issues about which only Cosby and his accusers know, at minimum, those who have been recipients of his largess could at least say there’s another side of the man.
I have spoken to a few of my A-list Hollywood friends about this issue and I found their explanations repulsive. They are all afraid of being “blacklisted” by White, liberal Hollywood. As much as I love money and success, I love my integrity more. How can you not support someone who has been instrumental in your being the very person you are today? How do you justify leaving someone like Cosby out to hang by himself?
Even Fat Albert doesn’t think Cosby deserves this kind of treatment.
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site, www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at raynard1223.
Grizzlies rout Clippers 107-91, improve to 12-2 as Marc Gasol’s dominance sets pace.
‘The Grizzlies seem to have that edge’
by Clay Bailey
Marc Gasol's dominance is making one of the NBA's best frontcourts even better.
Gasol had 30 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 107-91 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night. It marked the second straight game Gasol has recorded at least 30 points.
The victory left Memphis with the league's best record (12-2) behind a more aggressive Gasol, who is complementing his jumper with moves to the basket this season.
"There was no doubt in my mind that Marc would be aggressive," point guard Mike Conley said, adding: "Once you see the 12-2 start, we're going to tell him to go get 30 every night."
Gasol opened the game with a pair of jumpers, then began taking the ball to the basket. The result was 12 first-quarter points as Memphis erased the Clippers' only lead of the game and built the advantage to 25 by the fourth.
"When you make jumpers, it forces the defense to come out," Gasol said. "It creates shots for other people, and I'm happy with that."
Six Grizzlies reached double figures. Courtney Lee added 13 points for Memphis. Tony Allen had 12 points, while Beno Udrih and Quincy Pondexter had 11 points apiece off the Memphis bench. Zach Randolph had 10 points.
The Clippers, who won their first two on a seven-game road swing, didn't execute early, and didn't have an answer for Gasol.
"We really have to come out executing and aggressive and hit first," said Chris Paul, who led the Clippers with 22 points, five assists and four steals. "We really have to do a better job of doing it consistently."
Jamal Crawford scored 19, and J.J. Redick finished with 15, going 3 of 6 from outside the arc.
Blake Griffin scored 12 points, but was 5 of 17 from the field.
Los Angeles, which was averaging 103.5 points, had its nine-game streak of scoring at least 100 points on the road end.
"Once they got the lead, it was hard to get back into the tempo of the game," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "I thought the second half we lost our way a little bit."
Paul tried to guide the Clippers back into the game after halftime, scoring 13 points in the third, and Los Angeles got within eight points. But Memphis rebuilt the lead to 25 points in the fourth as Rivers relied on his reserves to try and erase the deficit. The Los Angeles bench made a run to get within 15, but Memphis never let them get any closer.
Rivers recognized that a different Gasol has made the Grizzlies more dangerous.
"I don't know if he has been on a good diet, but he looks great and is playing great," Rivers said. "The Grizzlies seem to have that edge. They aren't messing around."
Clippers: Los Angeles' seven-game road trip will cover 7,231 miles before the Clippers return home on Dec. 1 to face Minnesota. .The Clippers' 25-point deficit in the second half was not their largest of the season. They trailed by 29 Nov. 5 against Golden State.
Grizzlies: Reserve G Nick Calathes played for the first time this season after completing a 20-game suspension handed down at the start of the first round postseason series against Oklahoma City last spring for violating the league's banned substance policy. The victory gave the Grizzlies a 37-36 advantage in the overall series.
VIRUS VANQUISHED: Memphis had its full complement of players for the first time in the last three games. Five players caught a stomach virus before last Wednesday's game in Toronto, and two more caught the bug before Friday's game against Boston.
HE SAID IT: "The first two games (of the road trip), I think our defense was a little bit better. (Sunday) we didn't move the ball as well. We really didn't push the pace." — Jamal Crawford, on the Clippers' struggles.
Clippers: Visit Charlotte on Monday.
Grizzlies: Visit Lakers on Wednesday.
In observance of World AIDS Day (Sunday, Dec. 1), free HIV/AIDS testing will be offered Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 in conjunction with support from Rep. G.A. Hardaway, Mayor AC Wharton Jr. and the City of Memphis, the Memphis Police Department, Friends for Life, Best Nurses, Inc., the Shelby County Health Department and LeBonheur Children’s Hospital. Testing sites and times: Dec. 1 – City Hall from 10 a.m. 2 p.m.; Orange Mound Senior Center from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Hollywood Community Center from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 2 – Tillman Police Station from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Airways Police Station from 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Out-of-the-closet documentary chronicles clandestine life of brother hiding his HIV status
Film Review: ’25 to Life’
by Kam Williams
Special to The New Tri-State Defender
When William Brawner was 18 months old, his single-mom Linda left him in the care of a suspicious male babysitter against her better judgment while she went off to class at Howard University. Upon returning home, she found her baby so scalded by hot water that he needed numerous skin grafts and blood transfusions.
Doctors didn’t buy the babysitter’s story that it was all the result of an accident. And the proof in the pudding rested in the fact that the creep quickly slipped out of town before subsequently disappearing from the radar entirely.
Unfortunately for William, this tragedy transpired in the early ’80’s at the dawn of the AIDS epidemic, well before the medical community became aware of how to protect the country’s tainted blood supply. Consequently, he contracted HIV from one of his transfusions.
Because of the social stigma then associated with AIDS, his mother decided to studiously hide Bill’s positive HIV status over the course of his childhood. Furthermore, since the guilty woman had no idea how long he might live, she also proceeded to spoil him rotten, admittedly raising a monster the rest of the world was going to have to deal with.
For, Bill eventually blossomed into quite the handsome ladies’ man. And while he did inform his high school sweetheart, Natasha, that he was infected, he never told any of the 20+ classmates he slept with when he followed in his mother’s footsteps to Howard.
He even had unprotected sex with some of those sisters, and was almost outed by his angry ex-girlfriend who sent an anonymous letter to the President of the University, warning, “Bill Brawner is HIV+ and infecting everyone at your school.” But the roaming Romeo’s culpable response was to never again share his status with anyone, though he would remain promiscuous.
Finally, in 2006, William confessed to his shameless behavior by going on the radio to reveal to the world once and for all that he was HIV+. In addition, he founded a Haven Youth center, a healthcare facility offering infected teens treatment and counseling.
Directed by Mike Brown, “25 to Life” is reverential biopic that revisits all of the above, opting to present Bill in a positive light despite his risky behavior with a string of sex partners. Granted, it’s great that he ultimately embraced honesty and even settled down and got married, but it would’ve been nice to hear from his former conquests to learn how they felt about being used and whether they’ve tested positive for the AIDS virus.
A cautionary tale about a charming predator’s penis dispensing potentially-lethal demon seed.
Very Good (3 stars)
Rated PG-13 for PG-13 for action and sci-fi violence
Running time: 87 minutes
Studio: SimonSays Entertainment
(To see a trailer for 25 to Life, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9b7qEVRpQc.)
This Week’s DVD Releases
by Kam Williams
Special to The New Tri-State Defender
Top Ten DVD List for Nov. 25, 2014
“La Dolce Vita [Criterion Collection]”
“Jeeves & Wooster: Complete Collection”
“Touch of the Light
The November Man”
“Masterpiece Mystery: Inspector Lewis [Season Seven]”
“Tyler Perry’s Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned”
“Adventure Time: Finn the Human”
“Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas”
“Nymphomaniac: Volume One & Two [Extended Director’s Cut]”
Page 2 of 520